Mountains and Cobblestones – Switzerland
September 22-30, 2024 | US$ 4,790
US$ 4,790 per person sharing (international airfare not included)
An enchanting land of towering peaks, pristine lakes, cosmopolitan cities, and alpine towns that still bear a hint of the Middle Ages, Switzerland is Europe’s most lavish adventure. Explore this stunning country with your personal Destination Expert, Priska Moser, a Swiss-Canadian living in Ontario, Canada. Suitable for guests of all ages and hiking abilities, this tour is off the typical tourist track, and sure to delight you whether it is hiking among the most beautiful alps, traipsing over cobblestone walkways, boating along the pristine lakes, or sampling the finest of Swiss chocolates and cheeses.
Sept. 22: Arrive in Zurich, transfer to Lugano
Upon arrival at Zurich Airport on September 22, your guide, Priska Moser, will be waiting for you near the luggage pick-up area, holding a sign with your name on it. Priska will walk with you to your private driver and you will transfer by private vehicle (approx 3 hour drive) from Zurich Airport to Lugano. The drive takes us through almost the entire country from north to south, stopping in Brunnen for a break to take in the breathtaking Lake Lucerne. Choose between taking a small boat excursion to the origin of Switzerland (Rutli), or enjoy the view from the Bus and keep driving towards Lugano where you will check into the beautiful Splendide Hotel Royale. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included).
Sept. 23: Explore the Sights of Lugano
Set out with your private driver to discover the beautiful countryside around Lugano. The Verzasca Valley is the most picturesque valley in the Ticino district with crystal-clear waters flowing down from the mountains through large, deep gorges. Take time to go for a walk or a hike around the area. Stop at the dam, built specially for producing hydroelectric power and the setting of a stunt jump in the opening scene of the James Bond film, Golden Eye. You will soon reach the village of Lavertezzo with its Roman bridge and green crystal waters below. Passing through Brione and continuing on to Sonogno, a picturesque village that is an excellent location to stop for a leisurely lunch. Here we can do a gentle hike along the beautiful river to take in the valley, or take time to explore the tiny town of Sonogno, sing in the old little cathedral, and meet some cows grazing in the nearby fields. Following this, we will return to Lugano for dinner at a restaurant of your own choice, before returning to the Splendide Royale Hotel for the night. (Breakfast and Lunch included, Dinner independent)
Sept. 24: Lugano To Zermatt
After breakfast, enjoy a wonderful hike from Lugano to Gandria. Clinging close to the steep slope of the mountain, Monte Brè, we will hike through chestnut forests adjacent to the waters of Lake Lugano to the town of Gandria. Famous for its angular lanes, steep staircases, and courtyards, Gandria is a car-free zone and boasts the chapel of San Rocco, dating back to the year 1645. We will then return to Lugano by boat and make our way to Zermatt.
Enjoy the views as you drive (3 hours) from Lugano to Zermatt by privately chauffeured vehicle via Aare Gorge. Upon arrival in Zermatt — another car-free destination — we will transfer to our Coeur des Alpes Hotel by a local train. (Breakfast and Lunch included, Dinner independent) (or possibly a raclette at our beautiful hotel).
Sept 25: Zermatt
After a delicious breakfast, set out for a guided adventure to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise, an unforgettable experience at the top of a legendary mountain. Matterhorn’s famous summit (12,739 feet) hosts Europe’s highest aerial cableway and mountain station. If you are keen to ascend higher up the mountain, the summit lift will whisk you to the viewing platform, boasting a stunning 360 panoramic view. Drink in the Italian, French and Swiss Alpine mountains towering over 13,000 feet, as well as 14 spectacular glaciers. See if you can make out Mont Blanc – Europe’s highest mountain – and, further in the distance, the Jungfrau in all her radiant beauty. A visit to the world’s highest Glacier Palace will make the excursion an experience you will never forget. For Dinner on this day we will partake on a dinner served in nature by a local extreme dining catering company. Return to Coeur des Alpes for the night. (Breakfast included, Lunch independent, Dinner included).
Sept 26: Zermatt to Grindelwald
After an early breakfast, we will meet our private driver for a transfer (2.5 horus) to Grindelwald. Experience the ultimate in Swiss Alpine majesty with the First Fun Package, a thrilling combination of up to four exciting activities, whisking you from the heights of Mount First down to the charming village of Grindelwald. Customize your experience by choosing the activities that appeal to you the most, or embark on the full package for an unforgettable day of adventure. Begin your excursion with a breathtaking cable car ride from Grindelwald to Mount First. Feel the rush of adrenaline with the First Flyer zipline, soaring up to 50 meters above the ground at speeds of up to 84 kilometers per hour. Next, take flight with the First Glider and experience the exhilarating sensation of flying like a bird of prey. Ascend through the mountain landscape at high speeds, taking in panoramic views of stunning surroundings. After your airborne adventures, head back to the ground for a thrilling mountain-cart ride to Bord station, where you can refuel with delicious snacks. Finally, hop on a scooter-bike and feel the wind in your face as you speed down to the picturesque village of Grindelwald, where you can explore at your leisure and take in the quaint Swiss charm. Or if you prefer, you can take a gondola ride for each section. There is a little restaurant along the way to take in the gorgeous views and stock up on snacks. Transfer to the Jungfrau Lodge for the night. (Breakfast included, Lunch independent, Dinner Independent)
Sept 27: Grindelwald
Enjoy a day of exploring Bern — the capital of Switzerland. The medieval air of this city with its fountains, sandstone facades, narrow streets, and historic towers is incredibly unique. The elevated Rose Garden above Bear Park, and the 101 meter high platform of the cathedral tower offer the best views of the old town. The former entrenchments and bastions drop down steeply to the river, with boutiques, bars, and small street cafes to get lost in! Although Bern has a very good public transportation network, it is best to explore the city center on foot. Stay with Priska as she guides you through the city, or take a day to explore by yourself. Meet at the Rosengarten, the restaurant with the amazing view for dinner before returning to Grindelwald and our Jungfrau Lodge. (Breakfast included, Lunch independent, Dinner included).
Sept 28: Grindelwald
After breakfast, begin your adventure with a private transfer from your hotel lobby to the magnificent Lauterbrunnen Valley. From here, board a mountain train that will take you to the charming mountain village of Murren. This majestic village is rich in tradition and nestled on a high, sunny terrace facing the famous Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks. Car-free, Murren is the highest altitude ski resort in the Bernese Oberland, and the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. The village boasts a fascinating history, originally home to settlers from the Lötschen Valley in the Valais, and its stunning location has made it a favourite of filmmakers, including the James Bond movies. Take in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, explore the quaint chalets and local boutiques, and indulge in the region’s gastronomic delights. After, return to Lauterbrunnen by cogwheel and mountain train, meeting up with your private driver to return to Grindelwald. Should you not want to take the Gondala back down, you can opt to do a tandem paraglide (15-20 minutes) into the town of Lauterbrunnen. Return to the Jungrau Lodge for the night. (Breakfast included, Lunch independent, Dinner independent)
Sept 29: Grindelwald to Zurich
After a delicious breakfast, your private driver will transfer (2 hours) to Zurich so you can indulge in the ultimate Lindt experience with a tour of the Lindt Home of Chocolate, and an exclusive chocolate-making workshop. Unleash your senses as you embark on an interactive chocolate tour, unveiling the rich Swiss cultural heritage of this delectable treat. Become a Maître Chocolatier yourself during an exclusive private chocolate workshop and then, roll up your sleeves and craft your very own delectable chocolates under the guidance of expert chocolatiers. Each carefully crafted piece will be beautifully packaged, ready to be savoured and shared with your loved ones back home. Check in to your Hotel Scheuble, and then end the day with a Swiss Fondue in Zurich’s ‘Old Town’. (Breakfast included, Lunch included, Dinner included).
Sept 30: Zurich departure flight
Enjoy a last morning in this beautiful Swiss town, before your private driver collects you and transfers you to the Zurich airport in time for your international flight home, with memories, photographs, and great chocolate from your Swiss experience. (Breakfast included)
Included for this tour:
- En-suite accommodations (based on double occupancy), and all meals as per itinerary.
- Chartered private bus, with private airport transfers.
- Priska, as a knowledgeable guide of the local region and culture, will accompany the group along the
whole journey. Should guests want to break from the group and explore independently, Priska can advise.
Should weather not permit mountain peak visits, Priska will change the itinerary to a lower lying
- All train, gondola, and boat tickets, as well as entry tickets to the museums.
- Complete pre-departure information including packing lists, trip itinerary, and transport details.
- International air tickets
- Travel/medical/cancellation/interruption insurance
- Single Supplement (if you would like your own room)
- Gratuities for drivers, waiters, and room stewards.
- Any optional excursions not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Souvenirs, laundry, email, phone, and items of a personal nature.